The Thomas laboratory studies the role of fluid transport phenomena in regulating the dynamics and kinetics of cellular and molecular transport processes. The rationale for this work is that it will provide novel design principles for targeted drug delivery strategies in disease therapy. Specifically, we integrate cellular engineering, biochemistry, biomaterials, and immunology fundamentals to 1) elucidate how physical forces regulate seemingly unrelated aspects of cancer such as metastasis and immune suppression as well as 2) develop novel immunotherapeutic strategies to treat immune-regulated diseases such as cancer using engineered biomaterials.
Immunotherapy is emerging as a powerful alternative for the treatment and management of immune-regulated diseases. Our laboratory works at the intersection of drug delivery and materials engineering to develop next-generation approaches in immunotherapy.
Forces that arise as a result of fluid flow through tissues in the body play critical roles in regulating a variety of physiological and pathophysiological processes, including innate and adaptive immune response, metastasis and hematopoiesis. We seek to understand how such forces either drive pathogenesis or alleviate disease, and how this insight can be exploited for therapeutic purposes.